Monitoring the LED Fund in South Africa


Prof. Atkinson, D (2003), Monitoring the LED Fund in South Africa: Lessons from a Brave New Programme, World Bank Conference on Integrating Rural Development and Small Urban Centres, Washington DC, 18-19 March 2003.



During the last eight years, profound and rapid changes have taken place in South African local government, as well as the entire landscape of development delivery. In brief, municipalities are now regarded as the front-line agencies in local development design and delivery. At the same time, the definition of “development” has been extended to include a wide range of sectors (including infrastructure, economic development, social development and environmental management).

These radical changes were inaugurated by the White Paper on Local Government (1998). This represents a major advance on the Constitution itself. While the Constitution created a guaranteed role for local government, the developmental functions of municipalities remained poorly defined.1

Subsequent to the White Paper, several key pieces of municipal legislation were enacted. These gave much greater substance to the new developmental role of municipalities. In particular, municipalities are now required to undertake extensive community participation, as part of their day –to-day functioning; to undertake multi-sectoral integrated development planning; to implement performance management measures; and to create partnerships with state and non-state actors.

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